A Nurse Adviser on the phone
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Posted by Support Line nurse specialists on Thursday 9 January 2020

Three quarters of women with ovarian cancer say they do not get the support they need to cope with their diagnosis. We are committed to better support for women with ovarian cancer and their loved ones, and our Support Line has already supported over a thousand women concerned about or diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Our two nurse advisers Val and Rachel tell us why their role is so important: 

Nurse adviser Val Lang

I am one of the two nurse advisers on the Target Ovarian Cancer Support Line. I have spent an amazing 30-year career in women’s health, including gynaecology, colposcopy, and sexual health. Most recently I worked as a gynae oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), supporting women with gynaecological cancers – including ovarian cancer – from diagnosis right through treatment including surgery and chemotherapy.

Being a Clinical Nurse Specialist is incredible. I met my patients at diagnosis and then stayed with those women throughout their treatment and beyond. It was a privilege to support women at such a difficult point in their lives.

Being a nurse adviser on Target Ovarian Cancer’s Support Line is a new and exciting challenge. Having worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, I am well aware of the pressures of the job – and we’ll be working to support other healthcare professionals, including nurses.

Our Support Line is for anyone affected by ovarian cancer - from women who have concerns about symptoms to women who are diagnosed and in treatment or those who are now in remission. We are also here to support family and friends - we have seen for ourselves the impact of ovarian cancer on everyone that it reaches.

Better support for women and their loved ones is at the centre of all we wish to achieve.

Nurse adviser Rachel Mugnai

I am delighted to be part of the Target Ovarian Cancer Supportive Services team as I'm passionate about providing excellent care and support to anyone affected by or diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was previously employed by the NHS as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in gynae-oncology. Prior to this I was a research nurse caring for patients with gynaecological cancers taking part in research studies and clinical trials.

Having worked as a CNS I had the privilege of caring for hundreds of woman with ovarian cancer and their families from diagnosis, throughout treatment and during follow up. I have personally seen the difference that the right information and the right support at the right time and in the right manner can make. I am also aware of the workload constraints, time pressures and challenges that are faced by the CNS workforce. Having the opportunity to be a different source of support to people affected by ovarian cancer whilst being in a position to work alongside CNS’ to develop responsive services is a true honour. 

Finding information about clinical trials and research studies can be difficult for both patients and health professionals and the Target Ovarian Cancer Clinical Trials Information Centre is an excellent resource to help individuals to find the information that they need. As part of my role I will be helping to ensure that this information is valid, comprehensive and useful to those accessing it.

I would encourage anyone who has questions or concerns about ovarian cancer to get in touch via the Support Line. We will listen to your questions and concerns, provide support and information and in the rare case that we don’t know the answer then we have access to a panel of experts in their fields who can point us in the right direction.

Target Ovarian Cancer's nurse-led Support Line

Our nurse-led Support Line provides confidential information, support and signposting for anyone affected by ovarian cancer. It provides a safe, confidential place to discuss concerns, from symptoms to diagnosis, treatment and beyond. Our nurse advisers aim to bring you the clearest information about ovarian cancer, at a time and in a way that’s best for you.

We are open Monday-Friday, 9am-5.30pm.

Call on 020 7923 5475 or email support@targetovariancancer.org.uk